Destinations

Colombia

With two oceans, a rainforest, a coffee growing region, the Andes Mountains, vibrant cities and a fascinating history, this land of contrasts is sure to delight even the most seasoned traveller.

Although it wasn’t all that long ago that Colombia came with a big warning sign attached and was best avoided, South America’s most northerly country has turned itself around to become one of the continent’s top tourist destinations. 

Bogota, the capital, sits right in the middle, high up in the Andes. Although it might not be quite as charming as Colombia’s most famous city, Cartagena, Bogota is nevertheless home to a dizzying array of museums, churches, colonial mansions and top end restaurants which make it well worth spending a night or two here. You can take a day trip from the city to the astonishing Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, carved underground in a still functioning salt mine, or continue a little further to the charming village of Villa de Leyva. With scarcely a modern building in site and boasting one of the largest cobbled-stoned squares in South America this village where time stands still is a great place to see a snap shot of historical Colombia preserved in its entirety.

An easy 45 minute flight west of Bogota, Colombia’s coffee region is a must. Think rolling hillsides, plunging valleys, quaint villages, friendly coffee farmers and beautiful haciendas. With a tour of one of the regions coffee plantations, you will see the whole process from seedling to coffee cup and every part in between.

Medellin, Colombia’s second city, once the most dangerous city in the world thanks to Pablo Escobar’s infamous drug cartel, has risen above its bad reputation and is no longer a place to avoid. Art enthusiasts can enjoy the works of Medellin born sculptor Fernando Botero which adorn park and public plazas, or head up on the cable cart for a birds eye view of the sprawling city. August sees the annual ‘Feria de las Flores’ with a procession of flower growers, music and dance all adding to an amazing carnival atmosphere.

Moving up to the Caribbean coast in the eastern part of Colombia, the world’s highest coastal mountain range forms Tayrona National Park. A large indigenous population from different tribes lives in the area, and visitors can expect jungle walks and pristine beaches in equal measures, making it the ideal spot for those who can’t decide between relaxing in the sun and something a little more adventurous. Accommodation options in the area are limited, but the traditionally styled, luxury huts overlooking the Caribbean Sea are unbeatable.

Last, but by no means least, Colombia’s Caribbean coast is also home to the delightful city of Cartagena, undeniably a highlight of any trip to the country.  Surrounded by a defensive wall originally built to keep out unwelcome pirates, Cartagena exhibits some of the best preserved colonial architecture in all of South America and its rich history, diverse culture and laid-back Caribbean charm absorb every visitor. Colourful houses, balconies overflowing with flowers and narrow cobbled streets make the city absurdly photogenic, while away from the historic centre, Castillo San Felipe and El Convento de La Popa are two of Cartagena’s most spectacular sites.

DID YOU KNOW?

One of the most bio diverse regions in the world, the Amazon rainforest is home to over forty thousand varieties of plant, two and a half million species of insects and more than fifteen hundred bird species.

Sample Itinerary for Colombia

Our Colombia
Visit this country of contrasts and explore the highlights of this diverse and resilient nation. From the capital of Bogotá, travel to the picturesque coffee region, the City of Eternal Spring, Medellin and Cartagena, South America's most romantic city. Delve into our Colombia.
7 NIGHTS / 8 DAYS • FROM US$3,100 per person
Days 1 & 2: Bogota

Upon arrival in Bogotá, you will be met at El Dorado International Airport and privately transferred to your hotel. Stay in the heart of Zona G, the capital's buzzing gastronomic neighbourhood. Declared an official Monument of Cultural Interest, your hotel exudes colonial-style grandeur and charm.

On your full day in the city you will explore with your private guide and venture out to the astonishing Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, carved underground in a still functioning salt mine. Your guide will also offer their insider knowledge of local restaurants, bars and hidden spots. 

Days 3 & 4: Pereira and Valle de Corcora

Your guide will take you to the international airport for the short  flight to Pereira, in the heart of Colombia's coffee triangle. After checking into a tasteful boutique property on the outskirts of town, you will visit a local coffee plantation. Learn about the process from bean to cup and sample some of the world's best coffee overlooking the stunning landscapes of the region. The following day you will set off for the Valle de Cocora in the central mountains of the department of Quindío, home to the “Quindian wax palm”, the national tree of Colombia. After exploring the biodiverse flora and fauna of the cloud forest on foot or horseback, continue on to the charming local towns of Salento and Filandia before returning to your hotel.

Days 5 & 6: Medellin

You will be transferred to the airport in Pereira for a short scheduled flight to Medellin. For those happy to travel at a more leisurely pace journey can also be done overland, taking in some beautiful scenery en route. Medellín, named the City of Eternal Spring, for it's year-round temperate climate was made infamous by the exploits of Pablo Escobar. The city has left the dark days far behind and invested hugely in redevelopment, to become a centre of culture. Stay two nights and explore the city as your expert guide shares one of the most impressive social transformations of a destination in recent history. Venturing outside the city you may wish to visit the huge rock at El Peñol and the traditional town of Guatape.

Days 7, 8, 9 & 10: Cartagena

Fly to Cartagena de Indias for three nights. As a major port, regularly under attack during the sixteenth century,  the Spanish built a series of forts and walls around what is now the old city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. With your guide explore the rabbit warren of cobbled streets as you step into Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Colombia. Cartagena’s vibrant historic centre hosts a huge a variety of cuisine, combining Spanish flavours with African influences brought across by the slaves and migrants of 19th century. Enjoy an afternoon sampling the delights of local culinary artisans on a street food tour. After a couple of days at leisure you will fly back to Bogotá to connect with your flight home.

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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.